Deluded Heart

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  2/3/2013 7:11 PM

Heart in need of medical care and healingDeluded Heart
By Shirley Mitchell

“He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’ "
Isaiah 44:20
 
We have been talking about how to find God’s best plan for our lives.  We want to know the best path that brings the most glory to God on this side of heaven as well as satisfaction to our souls.  In our quest to find the one true path, we need to address how to avoid being misled.  We don’t want to make any more choices that we deeply regret or be fooled again.  We want to be wise women of God.
 
Isaiah 44:20 reveals to us some key things about how one can be misled from her path to destiny.  It says, “He feeds on ashes, a deluded heart misleads him; he cannot save himself, or say, ‘Is not this thing in my right hand a lie?’ "   Did you see in this verse what misled the person?  It was his deluded heart.  Deluded means “to mislead the mind or judgment of; deceive; beguile, dupe; cheat.”  Heart means “the center of personality or emotions; spirit, courage, and enthusiasm.”  God’s Word tells us to guard our hearts for they are the wellspring of life (Proverbs 4:23).  All living flows out of our hearts.  If our hearts are deceived, beguiled, or delusional, it is easy to see how we will be misled.  
 
She has attached herself to falsehood and holds onto a lie.  She keeps close to her body some deceptive thing that she thinks she must use or that she must have.  Her deluded heart keeps her from knowing that the thing that she is clutching is a lie.  She has no discernment that what she is holding is a deception.  She even lies to herself.  The wisdom of her mind will not prevail because she can’t tell a lie from the truth!  She has no ability to save herself.
 
Okay, this woman looks really familiar to me because I saw her every day in the mirror for decades!  I held tightly to what I thought a woman should be.  I clutched what I thought would make me happy even though it nearly killed me.  I was deluded!  I bought every lie the enemy was selling this generation about the identity of women. 
 
The verses right before verse 20 explain how Israel was like a carpenter who had fashioned a god from what his eyes could see and hands could touch instead of what their hearts had known.  The carpenter used wood to make the fire, but also used the same block of wood to carve a human figure out of it.  He gave it human beauty and put it in a shrine (verse 15 NLT).  Then he bowed down and worshipped it.  He even asked this false god to save him when he prayed to it and said, “Save me, you are my god.” 
 
Okay, I never thought of myself as much of a carpenter, but I’ve done this, too.  I sought good things in life that were okay, but then I turned them into gods.  For example, in my 20’s I was obsessed with my physical fitness.  I worked out, built my muscles, rowed in an outrigger canoe team, and ran faithfully.  There is no sin in these actions, but there was a lot of sin in the thoughts and motivations behind them.  I thought if I became strong, capable physically, and tough, then I would be someone.  It would save me from how I felt inside.  It would save me and make me a more likable person – by others and myself.  I chose to worship a false god and figuratively bowed down to what my human eyes could see and my human hands could touch.
 
Now I have come a long way from those days.  I have found satisfaction in my soul and been healed about a lot of things.  I like myself and I don’t have to strive to please anyone.  God’s favor and approval is all that I desire.  But I’m also smart enough to know that I haven’t arrived completely to the fullness of Christ-likeness.  So as I step back and try to discern if I am being misled, I must ask myself, “What if it is possible that I still have a part of my heart that is deluded and I’m still gripping a lie and I don’t know it?  Lord, reveal it to me.  Either confirm to me that my heart is not deluded, or reveal to me where my heart needs some revelation and God-therapy.”
 
Since you are taking this journey with me, my friend, then you must ask yourself, too.  Say to yourself, aloud, “Is it possible that I still have a part of my heart that is deluded and I’m still gripping a lie that I can’t identify that has fooled me.” 
 
Now it is the Holy Spirit’s job to reveal it to us.  It is our job to wait and trust that He will.  While we wait for either God’s kind correction to remove deception from our hearts or affirmation that our hearts are truthful, verse 20 also holds another key to our actions.  How does verse 20 begin?  It says, “He feeds on ashes.” 
 
A person with a deluded heart feeds on ashes.  She feeds on things that are temporary and have no nutritional value like T.V., movies, secular radio, and entertainment.  If we want our hearts to no longer be misled, then our steady diet must be God’s Word.  We also cannot feed on “good things alone” like the books of the world, merely experiencing His creation, and serving Him in the community.  We need to have sustenance!  Our nourishment must be a daily feeding on His Word so we know His ways, words, and thoughts.  We gain His throne room view.  I must confess I have been guilty of not taking the divine, rich food that gives life, abundant life.  But the older that I get and the more convinced that I want God and all that I can on this side of heaven, the more determined I am to spit out the ashes, avoid the singed taste altogether, and feast on His all-you-can-eat buffet.
 
Pray with me:  Oh, God, we need You!  Oh, how we need You!  Only through Your Holy Spirit can we know if our hearts are still deluded.  Answer the question for us if we still have a beguiled heart and are holding onto a lie.  Lord, reveal it.  Either confirm to us that our hearts are not deluded, or reveal to us where our heart needs some truth.  Give us a passion to feed on Your Word.  May ashes taste foul in our mouths so that we spit them out and run to feast on Your Word.  Lead us.  Don’t let us be misled anymore.  Show us the path of life.  May we live great lives for Your glory.  It’s in the Name above all names, in Jesus’ Name, Yeshua’s Name, we pray.  Amen.
 
Check out the 
Jesus Lives Bible study
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